T7 – Sailing Sunday

T7 – Sailing Sunday
photo ex Colin Pawson
Today’s photos are from Colin Pawson’s grandfather, Charles Pawson, photo collection. The yacht shown has the sail number T7 but that’s all I know. Im sure one of the sailing woodys can enlighten us.
A question – is there anywhere, a master list of the New Zealand classes that shows a vessel, would make ID’ing a lot easier. Have tried google, but no joy.

And because its Sunday – some classic wooden yacht racing porn – link below


21 thoughts on “T7 – Sailing Sunday

  1. Oh, come on! The Reg & Norm Bailey 1919 BETTY was T42 for 20+ years after 1931 and raced as T42 when she would not have been allowed to race with an X number. The plain fact is that there is zero chance that this boat is that BETTY. There’s just been a big dollop of self-serving assumptions and wishful thinking on the part of some previous owner(s)!


  2. Yep it can be tricky. Harold has a point.
    As T-42, Betty had the following owners who registered her with the Auckland Yacht and Motor Boat Association :-
    J. Horner 1931?/32+?; T. Bowden 1947+?; R.C.P. Jull (Chelsea Bay) 1950+?. While they have gone to the trouble of registering and re-registering the boat over that almost 20 year period, did these 3 owners not bother to actually change what was on her sail? That is a possibility no doubt … but …….

    Does your seller recall who he bought it off in Auckland? A bit of back tracking might be possible.

    btw. The History of the Sanders Cup book has loads of references to “Betty”, but apart from a few mentions in the early pages to the Bailey & Lowe boat, they are talking about the contentious Canterbury Champion built by George Andrews in 1925.


  3. If by some miracle this X2 (of the many) turns out to be the 1919 Auckland BETTY then she’s a time warp and a treasure, built by two of Walter Bailey’s sons, Reg and Norman at Devonport. Norman named one of his daughters after her, a lovely lady who has recently died.
    Without overstating what Robin has so lucidly said, it’s a common trap to reverse-identify a centreboarder from its sail number. In fact, if she has survived as X2, she’s unlikely to be the 1919 Bailey BETTY which registered as a T Class (T42) in her latter years.


  4. Hi again. Just got some more information from the owner of X2. Apparently her name is Betty, definitely built by Bailey brothers in 1918. This is what the previous owner was told by the man he bought off. He bought her in Auckland. She had been stored in the loft of a shed where there had been a fire. Betty had smoke damage (black sails etc) but no actual fire damage. Apparently she had been stored there for many years with all the rigging, mast, boom and gaff. He then took her down to Hastings where he has restored her and since then done a small amount of sailing. He says he also has a book ‘The History of the Sanders Cup’ which he will pass on to me, should make for some interesting reading.


  5. Thanks robin. I have emailed the seller and hopefully he will have more detail for me of her history to give me when I pick her up in a couple of weeks. I’ll let you know what he says. Thanks again.


  6. I saw this on Trade Me the other day and was a bit mystified by her. She’s definitely ‘old’, but how old?? I have records of 19 boats registered as X-2 throughout New Zealand between 1920 and 1960, and these are only the ones that I know of, there were more.

    Every yachting centre (Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago, Hawkes Bay, Manukau, Marlborough and later Northland) issued and re-issued, their own sail numbers so the possibility for confusion is high, with a low number like X-2. Made more so when owners traded their old racing sails to the non-competitive boats that no longer raced.

    Hull shapes were supposedly one design until the mid 1930’s when the rules were amended to a restricted model which allowed certain movement in hull shape. Hull design evolved dramatically after WW2 under influences from overseas designers such as Uffa Fox but the gaff rig was maintained right up until 1957 when the class went to a modern fiberglass one design.

    In Auckland the only X-2 built in 1918 was Betty, built by Walter Bailey. She raced in Auckland for a few seasons and by 1928 was over on the Manukau with the Manukau Cruising Club. She vanishes in the early 1930’s. Years later, her existence was often confused with the Canterbury X-class Betty, which was registered as X-2 in Wellington (she fell apart on a beach at Stewart Island in the early 1950’s).

    As to whether you have the Auckland Betty or even another of the X-2’s is a huge question. It’s not impossible and it would be wonderful if it can be proven but 97 years is a LONG time for a small 14-foot clinker hull to survive intact, or in any condition capable of restoration.

    What details has the previous owner given of her history and how she fetched up in Napier? Was she always a yacht or was she converted to runabout/fishing boat and back to yacht again. Who rebuilt her, and how did they decide she was a 1918 build?

    Whatever the answer, you have a lovely boat.


  7. HI all. I have just this evening purchased an X-Class, X2. Apparently built in 1918. A friend suggested possibly built by Bailey. She is currently in Napier, but I will collecting her in a couple of weeks and bringing her up to Auckland. She is in good condition, a lovely gaff rig. If anyone has anymore information on her heritage I would love to know more about her? Thanks


  8. Silver Ferns were a more modern type (then!) with an all inboard bermudan sloop rig and an English-style steel centreboard. I sailed on one a few times in the Sounds; the bloke who had owned it sailed her in the R Class in Christchurch with some small success.


  9. Dad (RC Pawson) certainly had Manu and we have plenty of photos of her both racing and apparently cruising but T7 is a bit of a mystery and to my knowledge wasn’t one of the family’s boats. I suspect the Herne Bay yachting fraternity of the time was quite close knit with each family no doubt photographing each others boats.
    It would be interesting to know if Chad Thompson has any photos from the era.


  10. PS A.C. Pawson bought her for his son R.C. Pawson to race and O. Bell owned her very briefly between Pawson and Thompson


  11. A.C. Pawson bought MANU from W.H. d’Audney in November 1921. He raced MANU mainly in the Anniversary Regattas and some North Shore Yacht Club.Akarana races until October 1927 when she was sold to T.L. Thompson for teaching the family to sail with Stan Dryland at the helm. So that “family” was Bressin, Chad’s father, and his brother Dick.


  12. Just had a trawl about on Papers Past and R.C. Pawson’s T-26 Manu did not appear to race all that much over that early period, while Viper was ever present and did quite well with all the clubs. So maybe Pawson was in the crew or sailing her for the owner.

    For what it’s worth, Henry Winkelmann took a photo of Viper as T-7 on 20/12/1924 during a PCC harbour race and I suspect that this may be what we see above.


  13. As Robin has pointed out, the alpha-numeric class numberings were often allotted to several boats during the period from 1922 (when they were first allotted) until the early 70’s, when they were phased out. So it isn’t an automatic thing to identify a yacht by its sail number, you need to know the approximate date or have some extraneous evidence to isolate he particular boat. It’s not a great problem with the bigger yachts because you can tell them apart, but centreboarders are a problem.
    My pick is VIPER because she was owned by St. Mary’s Bay people, close to the Pawsons plus, to me, she’s very 14ft one-design (X Class) as VIPER started life. Mind you, so did OLA III!


  14. There are no reliable lists other than the tortuous and arcane monsters that Harold and I have built and continue to play about with.

    Without knowing the date of the photo it’s not that easy to get a fix on names. The early lists of registration numbers were a minefield of re-issues made worse by bog-standard misprints and typos. A boat that left the Waitemata, even just to go the Manukau or to Panmure, lost its number which was often re-issued immediately. If the boat returned a season later, it got a new number, so boats flitting in and out of the Waitemata had continual registration changes, Poor old Gloriana for example, had at least 5 possibly 6 number changes between 1914 and 1970

    I have 6 boats that were registered as T-7 between 1920 and 1950, none of which have a Pawson as owner. There are two suspects, the first of which is Viper, which was launched in 1921 as a 14-foot One Design and registered as X-17, built by Leon Warne for E.W. Arthur.

    The X-class was a scratch racing class and as such, if you were not first across the line, you raced week in week out for no rewards whatsoever. This prevented any real and permanent growth in the class and many less skilled X-class owners re-registered their boats in the T-class, Auckland’s open 14-foot round bilge class and which offered handicapping and all clubs along with prize money and club trophies. Well you would wouldn’t you?

    Viper was one of these and after a season or so of coming nowhere in the X-class, entered the T-class division of the 1923 Regatta as T-17 but by 1925 was registered as T-7, and still owned by E.W. Arthur. Arthur was son of H.R. Arthur, treasurer of the PCC. According to the Star, 5/8/1927, Viper was broken up by a landslip near Curran St Beach.

    Sail number T-7 was then issued to Ola III, also originally an X-class (X-6 1920 built by Col Wild for Edgar Swinnerton). She had been sold to Whangarei in 1922 but returned, owned by C.B. Avery in 1927 and registered in the T-class taking the now vacant number T-7. By the early 1930’s she was owned by Ollie Riley and was wrecked in 1936.

    One clue to this photo might be here.

    There was a T-class called Manu, T-26 with owner R.C. Pawson 1921/26. Now, assuming he sailed Manu until around 1926, he probably did not sail Viper, but he may well have sailed Ola III as T-7 for C.B. Avery from 1927.

    All supposition and guesswork of course. Nothing proven.


  15. She’s a T class, round bilge 14 footer.
    I tend to use a walking encyclopedia called Robin Elliott for researching these older centre boarders for us and find the bible, SOUTHERN BREEZE, according to H Kidd, R Elliot & D Pardon a great reference.


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